This will probably be of limited interest to most of you, but we like to know how things work, not just how well they work. We thought we’d take a couple of pictures when we disassembled a ballhead in case any of you were interested. Our demonstration partner today was a Benro B1 ballhead that had a stripped tension adjustment knob, but all ballheads work basically the same way. Read more…
Stephen Shankland over at CNET has written an interesting behind-the-scenes look at how DxO Labs — one of the world’s premier camera testing services — evaluates equipment. DxO Labs is based near Paris, France and was the result of a 2003 spinoff from a company called Vision IQ, which specialized in swimming pool safety. Since then, the group has published over 185 in-depth camera reviews on its website DxOMark. Read more…
If you’re a fan of learning things through Khan Academy, then you might enjoy learning about how ISO works in this similar-styled tutorial by Dylan Bennett. Bennett might not have Salman Khan’s soothing voice, but he does his best to break down the magic of digital camera sensors into easy to understand ideas. For a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of how things work, check out Cambridge in Colour’s excellent tutorials.
Here’s an interesting 12-minute video that offers one explanation into how the world of art works. Even if you don’t agree with the philosophy and worldview described in the video, it’s still an eye-opening tour of the different things that influence and power the mysterious world of art.
Ever wonder how the photographs found on the pages of National Geographic come together? Here’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes video showing how the images of the 1992 cover story titled “The Sense Of Sight” — photographed by Joe McNally — were shot, edited, and arranged. McNally writes,
And changes. Man, is that an understatement. High res digital cameras have replaced film cameras. Hard drives store pictures, not little yellow boxes. Kodak’s stopped making carousel projectors. Photographers go to the magazine far less often, given digital transmission. Ties and jackets are seen less frequently.
But, the main mission, over time, has remained. Tell a good story in pictures. The major components–photographer, picture editor, designer, magazine editor–are all still in place, and the interplay among them is ongoing and largely unchanged.
The next time you pick up an issue of National Geographic and are tempted to flippantly flip through the images, consider these crazy facts: the 40 page/40 picture story took roughly a year to create from idea to completion and required 1200 rolls of film shot during 6 months of field work!
If you’re like me, you have a bazillion photographs backed up on external hard drives, but have you ever wondered how digital photographs are stored on the magnetic surface of a platter spinning at thousands of rotations per minute? This interesting video provides a neat look at how hard drives work, though it will probably also convince you to back up your photographs by some other means as well (e.g. online or on discs). The engineering that makes hard drives possible is amazing!
This animation was created by students of the Engineering 128: Advanced Engineering Design Graphics course at UC Berkeley during the Spring 2008 semester. The first part shows a Canon 10D DSLR exploding into its individual parts, and then those parts coming together again to slowly rebuild the camera, while the second part does the same for a Canon 24-85mm lens. Pretty dang impressive considering that it’s for an undergraduate course.
Ever wonder how photographs magically appear on Polaroid pictures? Photojojo offers a simple explanation of how the process works:
[...] your instant camera ejects the picture in between two metal rollers. The rollers pinch the chemical packets on the bottom of your film, break them open, and spread the developer chemicals all over the surface of your image. [#]
They also have some other interesting “photo science” explanations here. For a more in-depth look, check out this HowStuffWorks article on instant cameras.
If you’ve never used a rangefinder camera before, this video provides a visual look at how focusing works (a Leica M2 is used). Basically you’re given a second (smaller) image of the scene, and your goal is turn the focus ring until the two images match up for the subject you’d like to have in focus. Read more…
Here’s an interesting video produced by Nikon that explains how their Nano Crystal Coat technology came about and how it works to reduce ghosting. The music and sound effects are pretty dramatic compared to what a Western company would put in a video like this.